As a teenager in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, Bishop Barnes spent most of his time playing piano, singing and directing the choir at the Marks Chapel Baptist Church. After answering his call to the ministry in 1955, Bishop Barnes went on to found the Red Budd Holy Church in 1959 and later, lead the flock at the St. Paul Holy Church in Maple Hill, NC
Around 1979, Bishop Barnes was doing a radio broadcast at WSRV in Rocky Mount, NC, where he met Rev. Janice Brown. They recorded eight albums together, highlighted by the 1982 smash hit song “Rough Side Of The Mountain”. The album of the same name remained number 1 on the gospel charts for over a year, selling over 500,000
copies. It continues to sell strongly to this day. Rev. Brown parted in 1988 to get married.
Barnes is survived by his wife, Addrine Gaskins Barnes; and four sons, two daughters, 11 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, four brothers, five sisters, two uncles and one aunt.